Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Cameron.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Cameron.

REVEALED: Where candidates stand on fluoride debate

CANDIDATES are divided on one of the biggest local government issues: Should fluoride be added to the region's water supply?

Gladstone Regional Council voted in July 2016 to cease adding fluoride to the region's water supply.

An attempt in October 2018 to have the issue voted on again in council was rejected.

The Observer has asked every candidate what their views are on fluoride.

The mayor and council candidates' are published in ballot order.

 

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett hopes to be re-elected as the region's mayor.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett hopes to be re-elected as the region's mayor.

 

Matt Burnett

Fluoridation is a Queensland Health issue.

 

Mayoral candidate Michael Fearns speaks at the GAPDL Meet the Candidates event.
Mayoral candidate Michael Fearns speaks at the GAPDL Meet the Candidates event.

 

Michael Fearns

I do not believe it should be left up to individual councils to decide on this highly technical

Matter . It is the same as asking each council to vote on wether to immunise or not . There is a strong debate in the

UK on this issue where baby doctors are against dental surgeons are for . Both sides putting forward highly

credentialed Specialists , I think dentists sit on the fence.

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Cameron.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Cameron.

 

Chris Cameron

This was a very hot topic in the 2016 Council elections. Moving from Sydney to Brisbane in the 1970's I noticed the poor dental health of the children. When I mentioned this, a friend who had children, told me that Queensland did not have fluoride in the water supply and the only way to expose children to fluoride was a dental visit, oral drops or tablets . The Australian Medical & Dental Association research shows a clear benefit to dental health. Recent statics show a increase in the amount of children requiring hospital admissions for removal of decayed teeth.

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Janine Keating.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Janine Keating.

 

Janine Keating

The issue is one of consent. Some people object to mass medication without being asked. Others have experienced medical concerns from issues with teeth, bones and thyroid. Fluoride overdose is often cited as a contributing factor. We must respect those who do not wish to ingest fluoride to reduce tooth decay in the same way we need to respect each individuals right to consume sugar that causes decay. I would not support mass fluoridation without informed consent. As that task is impossible, I would vote against fluoride being added to the public water supply.

 

Rio Ramos.
Rio Ramos.

 

Rio Ramos

Personally, I am not in support of water flouridation as flouride is available in food, dental treatments and toothpaste. This should not be forced upon people. If the matter is revisited, I would look at the recommendations and evidence carefully. I will definitely obtain the views of the community and ensure that every person is heard on this issue and I will receive them openly and balance them to achieve an outcome desired by the community.

 

 

Desley O'Grady at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Desley O'Grady at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Desley O'Grady

My view on fluoridation will not change, I voted to remove fluoride from the water so that individuals can administer their own dosage of fluoride.

 

 

Phil Fleming is running for Gladstone Regional Council in the 2020 elections.
Phil Fleming is running for Gladstone Regional Council in the 2020 elections.

 

Phil Fleming

Simple - No poison in the water. Use toothpaste with fluoride.

Our population consumes hundreds of millions of bottles & cans of SUGAR filled drinks. Fluoridation is not the answer. Stop the sugar.

Fluoride chemicals used in Australia are toxic industrial waste, Hydrofluorosilicic Acid.

About half is sourced from the fertiliser manufacturing facilities of Incitec Pivot, Geelong, and Wesfarmers, CSPB, Fremantle.

The other half is similar toxic industrial waste, sourced from China.!!!

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Vickie Spencer.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Vickie Spencer.

 

Vickie Spencer

I don't believe that fluoride needs to be added to the water as only a small proportion of the water supply is actually consumed. I think fluoride might be helpful but other habits are probably more harmful to our health and teeth.

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Michelle Wagner.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Michelle Wagner.

 

Michelle Wagner

I will be voting against any motion to re-introduce fluoridation into our water supply because I believe residents should have choice as to what they ingest. This is one of those 'no win' issues for elected representatives as there is good evidence for and against - and it's a particularly divided debate. I do not feel I am in a position to force fluoride on people, regardless of how low of a dose it is. Perhaps the solution lies in developing a system whereby people have choice but until that time, I will be voting to retain the status quo.

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Jordan Puku.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Jordan Puku.

 

Jordan Puku

I am personally supportive of fluoridation. Ultimately though, if the region doesn't want it, it's not really Council's place to push it.

 

Council candidate Cr Glenn Churchill goes digital as tough new restrictions on campaigning come into affect for the 2020 elections.
Council candidate Cr Glenn Churchill goes digital as tough new restrictions on campaigning come into affect for the 2020 elections.

 

Glenn Churchill

The issue of fluoride in council's water supply has always been a contentious and debatable issue for many years.

Fact is Council could represent its residents / ratepayers in the best way possible: "Freedom of Choice" in our "Region of Choice". A good working model would be: For those who wish NOT to have fluoride then you are not forced to have it, against your will, or against you opposing it.

For those who really wish to have a fluoride supplement, then this can be provided by state legislators at minimal cost or even subsidised from the dental professionals.

 

Darryl Branthwaite at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Darryl Branthwaite at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Darryl Branthwaite

I grew up with fluoride in the water at Invercargill and I didn't have an issue with it until I came to BSL, where fluoride is regarded as a poison in the massive quantities they have there.

The technology present today however ensures that safe amounts are put into the water supply. I don't believe its mass medication as we are already ensuring its safe water with a chemical treatment now.

 

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Trevor.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Chris Trevor.

 

Chris Trevor

I personally believe that this is a serious community health issue not only impacting upon the dental outcomes of residents of our community but also other health complications that be-set individuals who do not have good oral health. Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting fluoride from the Australian Medical Association and the Australian and Queensland Dental Associations, I have accepted defeat and further that it is now up to the state government to legislate for mandatory fluoridation and to pay for it. I will not revisit this issue again.

 

Mark McLachlan at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Mark McLachlan at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Mark McLachlan

This has already been resolved by Council. I believe the next change will be mandated by the State. That said, I would follow the advice of my dentist and support fluoridation.

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Craig Tomsett.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Craig Tomsett.

 

Craig Tomsett

According to the CSIRO, AMA and ADA all of Australia's treated water supply should have fluoride included, to reduce the harm to our children's teeth, the expense of dental bills and the reliance on an already struggling health system. There is a mountain of data showing the benefits of fluoride treatment in the Townsville water supply for 40 years. They have the largest Indigenous community,

a group particularly vulnerable to decay issues, the data shows they have the lowest levels of decay in Queensland as do all other groups in Townsville.

 

Dominique Gleixner.
Dominique Gleixner.

Dominique Gleixner

I believe that the Council have already voted on this issue in the current term. Personally, I see both sides of the argument. However; it can be self-medicated if required instead of everyone having to consume it, as I personally know many people are allergic to it and cannot drink or shower in the pre-treated water.

 

Kahn Goodluck at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Kahn Goodluck at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Kahn Goodluck

There's two sides to the fluoridation debate. 1. The scientific side that it's beneficial for our health. 2. The ethical side of the debate in regards to putting chemicals in peoples drinking water against their will. I don't deny the scientific evidence and personally, I'm not particularly passionate about the issue either way but I didn't support fluoridation in this term as I felt the ethical side of the issue was more powerful for me. I'm happy to put the issue to the people if I'm elected this term and support the majority view. Failing that I would not be looking to change my position.

 

Rick Hansen at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Rick Hansen at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Rick Hansen

There is much literature available regarding to pros and cons of the fluoridisation in our drinking water. I supported fluoridation at the start of this term of Council. I believe the issue should not come back to the Council table and is a State Government concern.

If it did come back to the Chamber and if the majority of residents serviced by GAWB were in favour or against fluoridisation, I would represent that majority. The community should be engaged in this process using a comprehensive survey with sufficient information on the options.

 

 

Gladstone Regional Council candidate Gordon Earnshaw.
Gladstone Regional Council candidate Gordon Earnshaw.

 

Gordon Earnshaw

A very emotive issue and considering this was addressed by the previous council I can't see a need to resurrect again in the next council. If it was raised though I would consult with the community and see what their thoughts were. This could really be put to bed if we were allowed to ask for a yes or no vote in conjunction with the next election. From personal experience I grew up with it and never had an issue, but I understand other people do. If I was put on the spot i'd probably vote in Favour.

 

Gladstone Regional Council election candidate Mick McAullay.
Gladstone Regional Council election candidate Mick McAullay.

 

Mick McAullay

This should be a state issue not council but if it were to be put back on the table I would be taking advice from the dental and medical associations.

 

Gladstone Regional Council election candidate Lorraine 'Lori' May.
Gladstone Regional Council election candidate Lorraine 'Lori' May.

 

Lorraine 'Lori' May

It's a very divisive issue. the decision isn't about whether or not you believe fluoride is harmful but removing residents ability to make their own choice on issues that concern them.

 

Natalia Muszkat.
Natalia Muszkat.

Natalia Muszkat

I believe in the right of people to decide what chemicals to consume. While I recognise the public health approach of mass fluoridation and the benefits that can bring to many people, I also understand that it is harmful to some. Dental hygiene can be achieved by dental education and health promotion programs without the need to add fluoride to the water we use for cooking, showering and in our gardens.

 

Kyle 'Ocka' Beale at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Kyle 'Ocka' Beale at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

 

Kyle 'Ocka' Beale

I can understand the differing opinions on the fluoridate topic. When introduced in the 1940's it was great as not many probably owned a tooth brush or could afford tooth paste. It is a fact that as the western world developed so has our self care including brushing our teeth. So my personnel belief is fluoridate is probably not required to be added in this day and age in developed countries. People can choose their own level of fluoridate intake through the tooth paste they buy.